For scientific terms or terms specific to an academic discipline, please exercise judgment, taking guidance from academic colleagues where possible.
Be sure to retain consistency throughout a piece of writing.
British and US spelling
British spelling should be used when writing on behalf of the College, unless quoting a piece of text originally written using US spelling. Some examples of common differences are listed here:
- Prefer-ise/-yse/-isation to -ize/-yze/-ization. For example: organisation; rationalise; contextualise.
- Prefer -our to -or. For example: colour; armour.
- Prefer -re to -er. For example: centre; metre.
- Prefer -lling to ling; -lled to -led; and -ller to -ler. For example: travelling, travelled and traveller; modelling, modelled and modeller.
Plural or singular
Collective nouns such as group, team, department, faculty or staff, use singular verbs.
- The team has done great work this term.
- Next week, staff at Imperial celebrate Black History Month.
Foreign plural forms should be used where still in common use. Some examples are listed here:
Spelling and style preferences
This list is not exhaustive: if you are unsure about the correct spelling for a term not listed here, please contact the Style Guide.